Encouraging the Habit of Giving Back by Marty Davis

Philanthropy is as much a part of who I am as the real estate issues I handle, and the corporate law work and workers’ compensation cases that fill my working day as CEO of Legal Solutions Group┬áMiami.

Although it is heartening to read recent reports about younger philanthropists, particularly in the tech industry, donating to worthy causes, there has still been an overall decline in giving over the past decade, and it is often not until their twilight years that college graduates really grasp the bigger picture.

So what better way to encourage people to think about their responsibility to give back to the world than to encourage alumni to support the alma mater that nourished them through college.

There are plenty of new college schemes focused on just that objective: for example, the University of Pennsylvania holds a one-year reunion for new alumni, and has named their senior class gift the ‘Seniors for the Penn Fund’, helping to remind them of the ultimate purpose of their giving.

For these programs to find success, strategic leadership is required. After implementing such robust leadership, the University at Buffalo has reported positive outcomes, admitting that previous programs lacked maturity.

Some colleges have funded programs centered on non-monetary giving such as volunteering, helping graduates into work and helping to source new applicants for the college. This may seem a risky strategy, but fundraising experts claim this is the best way to maximize the chances of alumni becoming valuable donors in the future.

What’s certain is that the sooner young people get into the habit of giving back, and the more they are prepared to give, the easier it will be to raise the standard of living for all.


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